The objective of this sub-component is to increase agriculture and water productivity of selected field, vegetable and fruit crops, improve water use efficiency, promote shift to low water requiring crops and reduce water foot print of agriculture in the project clusters. On-farm integrated crop management (ICM) demonstrations will be the core project intervention under this sub-component, and the main vehicle for the dissemination of improved technologies to the 2 Diggi, an intermediate water storage is a farmer‟s intervention to mitigate scarce and unreliable canal water supply in the canal irrigated area. Farmers first store the water deliveries from watercourses in diggies. Next they pump the water out from a diggi to irrigate the crops, through field channels or micro-irrigation technologies. 39 farmers. The ICM demonstrations will include the complete package of practices for a particular crop from land preparation to harvesting of the crop (including use of seed of improved high yielding varieties/hybrids), seed treatment, soil test based application of fertilizers (including use of organic manures, bio-fertilizers like Azotobacter, Rhizobium, phosphorus solublizing bacteria and micronutrients), weed control, integrated pest management (including use of bio-pesticides, and bio-rational pesticides), efficient methods of on-farm water management, carrying out all cultural practices at the optimum stage of crop, etc.). Special effort will be made to include low cost methods for improving on-farm water use efficiency such as alternate furrow irrigation, paired row irrigation, use of crop residues as mulches for reducing evaporation loss, etc. as an integral part of ICM demonstrations.
Most of the demonstrations will be on the value chain crops with a focus on popularizing high payoff interventions and reducing water foot print of the crop. Demonstrations will also be conducted on other crops which are grown in a cropping sequence with the value chain crop with the objective of improving water use efficiency, diversification to low water requiring, high value and other crops, reducing water foot print, etc. Another set of demonstrations will be on promoting resource conservation technologies, and for popularizing climate smart agricultural practices. These demonstrations will be integrated with the on-farm water conservation structures developed under water use efficiency improvement sub-component. The project will also support post-harvest management demonstrations for promoting farm level cleaning, grading, packing and value addition to the agriculture and horticulture produce. A broad menu of interventions for agriculture and horticulture has been developed and available in the PIP. High pay-off interventions will be selected by stakeholders from this menu depending upon agroecological conditions and emerging marketing opportunities in a particular cluster. For disseminating the improved technologies to a large number of farmers in the project villages, field days will be an integral part of the on-farm demonstration program.
In view of the importance of seed in increasing crop productivity and the low seed replacement rates in Rajasthan, special attention will be paid to technology empowerment of the farming community for production of quality seed of high yielding varieties of self pollinated crops by organizing seed production demonstrations. Adoption support in terms of supply of seed on cost sharing basis will be provided to the farmers in the selected villages provided they give an undertaking to adopt the package of demonstrated practices. Other activities would include training and exposure visits for farmers, training of trainers, workshops, etc. The project will also support adaptive trials for testing promising crop husbandry practices and on-farm water management technologies which are at an advanced stage of development and require onfarm testing, refinement and validation. The project will explore outsourcing of agricultural service delivery for efficient and effective technology transfer in public - private partnership mode.